Fewer wrinkles, whiter eyes, a better hairline. Photoshop can work wonders on vane, insecure show-offs like me. It can even transport an awestruck autograph hunter from a grubby London back street to the Royal Albert Hall. Sometime in the 1990s (I barely remember decades never mind actual years) I took the train from Grimsby to London. I had great seats for a Tony Bennett concert and was excited. I collected my tickets and walked behind the theatre to find a bar. As I passed the stage door, a black Mercedes pulled up and out stepped Tony Bennett.
It was my lucky day. Me, three anoraked autograph hunters, and a living legend. He signed my ticket, posed for a photograph and told me 'I Wanna Be Around' was one of his favourite songs.
I knew a photo of me with Tony Bennett would look good on my website, but as a starry eyed autograph hunter? Probably not. Back then Photoshop was a pretty specialised piece of software. I paid a fortune for someone to take the pen out of Tony's hand and change the background from the grubby stage door of the Dominion to a glittering reception room in the Royal Albert Hall. Which brings us to last week.
There I was again, watching my hero give life to ninety minutes of great standards: The Boulevard of Broken Dreams... Fly Me to the Moon... Stepping Out... For me it's a master class in how to sing and work a room.
Then it was over. The crowd jumps to their feet as our man waves goodbye and gives us his trademark salute.
As I'm heading out I heard someone call my name. It was my publicist Rosie Bartlett. "Come with me," she said. Five minutes later I'm in the Artist's Bar shaking hands with my hero.
Rosie took a picture and as I rattled on to Tony about what an influence he'd been on my career, I remembered the last time I met him and the photograph I'd had Photoshopped.
Now, fifteen years later, I really was inside the Royal Albert Hall enjoying a conversation with my hero.
I didn't have this picture digitally enhanced, but comparing my real life hairline from what it was to what it has become, maybe that was a mistake...